Fungal infections are fairly common in the foot region, and they pose a significant threat to the feet’ health. Two common fungal problems affecting feet are athlete’s foot and fungal nails. A fungus thrives in warm, moist areas, and on the feet, it can grow on and between toes, as well as on soles and toenails. Environmental factors, such as socks, shoes, heat and humidity, and weakened immunity resulting from disorders such as diabetes can also cause fungal infections.
Chronic fungal infections are more frequently observed in adults, while acute fungal infections are commonly seen in children. As such, it’s essential to identify the symptoms of these fungal problems early and seek prompt medical attention.
Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a skin infection usually caused by fungi that thrive in warm, moist conditions. The infection is notably common in people engaging in sports activities that involve sweaty socks, shoes or damp surfaces, such as a swimming pool deck or a shower room. The symptoms of athlete’s foot include scaly and cracking skin, itching, burning and inflammation.
Conversely, fungal nails, also known as onychomycosis, is a common nail infection caused by fungi. This condition is most prevalent in the toenails since they tend to remain in a warm, moist environment, making it easier for fungi to thrive. The symptoms of fungal nails begin with a small spot under the nail, then it spreads and discolours the entire nail. It can also cause thickening and scaling of toes.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s crucial to consult a podiatrist. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is one such podiatrist who specializes in treating various feet ailments caused by fungal infections. He seeks to identify the root cause of these problems, providing the best course of treatment and helping patients prevent future infections.
While there are over-the-counter options available in treating these fungal infections, Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM recommends that you see a podiatrist to provide adequate treatment. Some of the possible treatments for fungal infections include topical or oral antifungal medication or prescribed medicated nail lacquer.
To prevent future fungal infections, it’s paramount to maintain proper foot hygiene, which includes washing and drying feet adequately, especially after engaging in sweaty activities. Avoid walking barefoot in communal areas such as swimming pools, showers, or gyms. Wear socks made of breathable fabric and shoes that adequately ventilate your feet. Discard old shoes and thoroughly clean your footwear regularly.
In conclusion, fungal infections in the feet are common, and it’s essential to identify the symptoms early to prevent them from becoming severe. Athlete’s foot and fungal nails are two of the most common fungal problems affecting the feet, and they can be caused by environmental or health factors or a weakened immune system. It’s advisable to seek medical attention from a podiatrist such as Dr Gilbert Huang DPM to obtain the best possible treatment. Preventive measures such as proper foot hygiene, adequate footwear, and avoiding communal walking barefoot can also help prevent future fungal infections.